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Little Words Project

Little Words Project increased revenue by 202% in the wake of iOS 14, using Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Google, and email advertising.

202%
Increase in Revenue Across All Channels
2.9MM
Impressions on TikTok
4.64X
ROAS On Paid Search

The Overview

Little Words Project, the budding brand behind shareable and stackable bracelets featuring fine-cut crystals and inspirational words, came to MuteSix in July 2021, looking to grow their business and hit $1MM in revenue for the highly competitive month of November. Given the drastic Paid Social performance-tracking implications of the then-recent iOS 14+ rollout and the unprecedented competition of 2021’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday, MuteSix carefully executed a comprehensive omnichannel strategy across Facebook, TikTok, Google, and Email.

The Strategy

Circumventing the data volatility associated with iOS 14+ during a time of heavy competition and high CPMs was a challenge MuteSix needed to overcome in order to meet Little Words Project’s aggressive revenue benchmarks, which had doubled from the prior year.

When MuteSix inherited the Little Words Project account, we discovered that their previous agency had over-invested in remarketing, a common mistake in a post-iOS 14+ world, as the new software prevents advertisers from having full visibility into list sizes and blocks their ability to successfully retarget the vast majority of Facebook users using iOS devices. Thus, the previous agency’s strategy no longer proved sustainable, as it would yield diminishing returns. 

As more and more Apple users opted out of app tracking in the months following the iOS 14+ drops, the more expensive remarketing strategies became, as there were fewer people to target in the shrinking remarketing pools. CPMs became increasingly costly as a result, so remarketing became more expensive than acquisition. 

In order to acquire new customers and grow revenue during the high-cost auction period of Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM), MuteSix strategically balanced costs across multiple Paid Media platforms, carefully coordinating and integrating cross-channel efforts.

At the onset of our partnership with Little Words Project, we quickly identified the need to refill the funnel, with a strong focus on brand awareness and customer acquisition, using Paid Social and Paid Search, while leaning on Email and SMS for customer-nurturing strategies to retain customers beyond the BFCM rush.

Strategy Deep Dive

1. Refilling the Funnel Amidst a Shrinking Remarketing Pool and Rising CPMs
In an effort to refill the funnel ahead of BFCM, the MuteSix Paid Social team boosted top-performing organic posts on Facebook without a CTA, optimizing them for engagement purposes alone. We theorized that if we could keep the engagement within Facebook, the algorithm would struggle less to retarget users. Within the first month of running
this strategy, we reduced our remarketing CPA by 60% and increased the number of purchases by a staggering 330%.

Much like Paid Social, the Paid Search team accurately identified the need to implement a more prominent top-of-funnel presence, which meant expanding successful search acquisition strategies and exploring new audiences to market to. Doing this allowed us to focus our attention on top-of-funnel tactics like YouTube video ads, as well as expand keyword targeting and new Display audiences. Collectively, such efforts helped rebuild our Remarketing lists before the November holiday promotional push.

2. Optimizing Google Smart Shopping and Dynamic Search Ads Campaigns
Ahead of BFCM, the Paid Search team curated Little Words Project’s most popular products into their own Smart Shopping and Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) campaigns. This allowed us to allocate more budget on the highest-converting products so as to aggressively scale the account.

Once the brand’s Remarketing pool was reestablished and Little Words Project had more high-converting Smart Shopping and DSA campaigns in place we were ready to capture the largest qualified audience possible with BFCM creative.

 

3. Tapping into TikTok for Brand Engagement, Followed by Conversions
Part of our biggest Paid Social push was the adoption of TikTok, whose growing, billion-plus user base proved ideal for acquiring and converting jewelry-loving Gen Z shoppers. We began our seeding process in October and launched TikTok in November, within just one month so as to drive as many new users to the website as possible ahead of the BFCM rush. 

The lion’s share of our November efforts on TikTok centered on brand awareness, engagement and redirecting users to the brand’s website.

Of note, we implemented the following tactics:

1. We redirected TikTok users to the brand’s website, which featured a sticky banner explaining their BFCM promotion so that TikTok users could convert on BFCM incentives. By leveraging the website’s popup, MuteSix was able to drive conversions without ever having to run a robust conversion campaign on TikTok.

2. We leveraged TikTok’s newly launched Spark Ads, whitelisted ads that enable influencer-endorsed brands to sponsor trending organic influencer content that best aligns with their brand.

3. Having established cross-platform efficiencies, we repurposed boosted Instagram posts on TikTok, which allowed us to test the varying performance of creative nuances across platforms. 

4. We used TikTok to identify a viral trend: the “Wrist Roll,” a short video clip of shoppers dramatically showing off their accessorized wrists, that could be dispersed in existing GIF ads. This Little Words Project trend performed well on TikTok and Instagram, and became pivotal in our strategy.

 

A month following our initial awareness efforts, we were able to generate revenue with campaigns optimized for purchases. 

By January, we had driven nearly 30 purchases from TikTok, on a last-click basis, with Little Words Project’s customer LTV significantly higher YoY.

 

4. An Omnichannel Closed-to-Open Promotion for Black Friday / Cyber Monday
As we progressed into Q4 2021, the Paid Social team turned their attention to Email and SMS, as well as Google, to maintain momentum during the holiday season, viewing such channels as low-hanging fruit to help garner higher customer LTV. Our goal was to use BFCM as an opportunity to maximize new customer acquisition and then widen the bottom of the funnel and grow the brand as a whole.

To this end, the team implemented integrated omnichannel strategies to support the entire funnel, including engagement objective campaigns, brand awareness tactics, influencer whitelisting, giveaways, and a strategic “closed-to-open” promotion for BFCM.

Of note, Little Words Project’s BFCM “closed-to-open” promotion began in early November as a closed promotion that encouraged email / SMS signups for anyone who wanted early access to their sale via a single-use discount code.

Once late November rolled around, the sale became an open promotion available to all shoppers, and the discount codes became universal. This incentivized past shoppers with unique codes to return to the website to purchase again if they so desired, maximizing the revenue-generating potential of the sale.

We began teasing the promotion in mid-October–while simultaneously establishing a presence on TikTok and teasing their promotion there– to refill the funnel ahead of the competitive holiday shopping period.

 

 

This earlier-than-typical BFCM promotion in October helped us meet two goals. 

1. We were able to gather first-party customer data to build a robust remarketing list well ahead of the BFCM rush. 

2. The sale’s early access motivated customers to start their holiday shopping earlier than usual so as to take advantage of their single-use discount code, and then return to shop for more items during the open portion of the promotion once the code was no longer single-use.

In total, this strategy helped us support the funnel across all channels. Paid Social was used as an upper- and middle-of-the-funnel discovery channel, Google & YouTube ran top-of-funnel, intent-based campaigns to pull in traffic to support the rebuilding of our remarketing lists for Paid Social, and Email & SMS were able to boost lower-funnel efforts throughout the BFCM strategy with strong customer-nurturing efforts.

The Success

Between onboarding in July through our Black Friday / Cyber Monday promotion in November, Little Words Project generated the following success:

 

PAID SOCIAL

415%
Increase in Monthly Ad Spend
314%
Increase in Net Revenue
15K+
Clicks on TikTok

PAID SEARCH

186%
Increase in Monthly Ad Spend
184%
Increase in Monthly Revenue
178%
Increase in Revenue YoY

EMAIL

37%
of Overall Revenue Attributed to BFCM Email Campaigns

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